--- Gary Shannon <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> So I can't help but wonder how small a set of verbs
> would constitute a useful set.  I'm not thinking of
> minimalism for its own sake, but to create as many
> verbs as would be useful without violating the
> spirit
> of not creating a new verb when a verb + adverb
> would
> do the job.  A mere 10 verbs and 10 adverbs would
> give
> 100 verb + adverb combinations possibly taking over
> for 100 separate English verbs, or possibly creating
> novel meanings not expressible in English without
> some
> circumlocution.
Looks very much like searching for semantic
primitives, doesn't it ? I know that some day we will
get to the heart of the topic ;-)

(This will probably happen the day when we shall no
more think in terms of "verbs" and "adverbs" - which
are syntactical notions, thus depending on particular
languages - but in terms of meaning relations. What is
a verb ? Nothing. A verb in English, or in Russian, or
in Georgian, might be something, but such a thing as
"a verb" (or: "an adverb") simply does not exist.)

Philippe Caquant

"High thoughts must have high language." (Aristophanes, Frogs)

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